Zoning & Land Use Regulations

illustration by Paul Hoffman

“Zoning is merely a tool. It can be used constructively as a positive force for community good or it can be misused.” — Edward McMahon, from “What's So Bad About Zoning?”

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Take a Density Quiz

Take a Density Quiz

Dan Zack, the Downtown Coordinator for Redwood City, California, has put together a quite interesting photo quiz on the density of various residential buildings. It’s the type of quiz you might want to put together your own city or region.

Housing is located a block away from Saratoga Springs' main street

Downtown Housing -Minus Parking +Plus Commercial

The residents and business owners of Saratoga Springs, New York, treasure their downtown. Two planning priorities: increase the amount of housing downtown and ensure retail on the ground floor of buildings.

Planning ABC's illustration

X is for X-Rated Land Uses

Early American land use controls often focused on what might be considered the “X-rated” land uses of their day: fat trying plants, tar boiling facilities, dead animal disposal lots, industrial production facilities. and so on. The use of zoning to deal with them had broad consequences to this day.

photo of two rocks in balance

A Question of Balance

Planner and Planning Commissioners Journal columnist Greg Dale explores the question of how to balance community needs and individual property rights.

illustration by Paul Hoffman for article on community child care facilities

Child Care in Our Communities

Sixty percent of working families with children under age five now pay for licensed child care. A look at how communities are responding to the challenge of providing for child care facilities.